IELTS Writing

IELTS writing is different for both the general and academic tests, take a look at some tips and information about the writing section here.

Writing Information

  • The Writing section lasts for 60 minutes
  • The listening is split into 2 sections
    • Part 1 – 150 words
      • Academic – Based on a chart, with data
      • General – Writing a letter
    • Part 2 – over 250 words
      • Academic – Formal essay
      • Same as academic, with an easier topic.
  • All numbers count as 1 word
  • task 1  – 33%/ Task 2 – 66%
  • There is a word count limit for each set of questions.
  • You will be assessed on:
    • Task Response 25%
    • Coherence & Cohesion 25%
    • Vocabulary 25%
    • Grammar 25%


Try some other IELTS sections:

Try some IELTS Writing questions


How much to write?  Aim for around 170-190 for task 1 and 270 and 290 for task 2

Task 1 tense – Use the task to guide you, if you see dates in the task then use them to inform what tense you should use

Passive/Active – Use a mixture of both.

Plan Make sure you spend around 5 minutes planing the main ideas and structure of your essay, think about the question, main points, most important points, supporting points, structure.

How many paragraphs?Try to aim for around 4/5 paragraphs. Intro, body (2/3 paragraphs) conclusion.

Opinion – Only give your opinion if asked, and then make sure you do if you are asked about your opinion.

Last minutes – Use the last few minutes to check for spelling, punctuation, capital letter and any other SMALL mistakes you can find.

Paragraph indent – Missing a line is better than leaving an indent.

Mistakes – you can strike out mistakes or add words with a ^ symbol, but make sure it is easy to read.

IdiomsNo, do not use idioms or proverbs in your essays.


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